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Understanding where people recreate to better inform Coastal Management Practices in Virginia

Authors: Jennifer Whytlaw*, Old Dominion University
Topics: Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Coastal and estuarine environments, coastal zone management
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Virginia has a well-established connection to the ocean, including a large tourist economy. While previous research has studied maritime use such as vessel traffic, there has not yet been a concerted effort to study non-consumptive and non-motorized recreational uses through the use of GPS technology. Current methods are based upon observed activities, surveying, and participatory GIS data collection. This research seeks to improve data being captured and its ability to be analyzed within a geographic information system to provide a comprehensive look at recreational activities along the lower Chesapeake Bay and Virginia coast, to better inform planning and policy decisions that will have implications across various disciplines including but not limited to transportation, resiliency and mitigation, public health, and land-use planning. This information can then be used by policymakers to make better informed decisions on coastal management practices targeted at subjects such as access to the coast and ocean, water quality, and marine debris to improve overall conditions for those people who are participating in recreational activities.

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